Profile: Gamede Family


Simple Picture Slideshow:
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Khethiwe who is 25 years cares for 5 young males in this small mud house under poor living conditions. The house as you see is in bad shape and she valiantly struggles to keep the ‘home fires burning’. The house desperately needs walls repaired, floor coverings are threadbare and furniture is sparse. We are unsure of the bedrooms and of the suspicion that there are insufficient beds, linen and blankets to say the least.

Khethiwe is bright, cautiously optimistic, well educated with a good grade 12 and work force experience. She and others were recently laid off from a pie factory because they joined the union. They have taken the boss to court and we are of the understanding that things didn’t go in their favour. She works hard and was earning R1, 500 ($214) a month

Khethiwe speaks good English and is a dear soul, full of love, sense of what is right and has hope. She certainly has sacrificed her life so far for the welfare of the youngsters. It’s a life of toil and not much fun if any!

And Khethiwe has hopes and dreams; she longs for further education and training to ultimately work at the bank. She enjoys business and accounting.

She longs for a brick house with 6 rooms so they can be safe, comfortable and warm and dry. She dreams of this and new furniture, household items, stove with an oven, beds, linen and towels. And a car one day!



Sbongiseni is 18 years and attending the local high school writing grade 12 presently. It breaks your heart to see kids hunched under the lamplight trying to do school work on their laps; that’s how we found him one afternoon when we brought some supplies for Khethiwe, such is the desire to learn.

He enjoys playing soccer and does some reading. He is a quiet and gentle fellow.

Access to the library involves transport into town; R14 return = $2
Library membership is free.

He would like to become an electrician; he knows someone who he can apprentice with and learn the basic skills. He’d also like computer training and a driver’s license.

Grade 12 and a driver’s license are basics for gainful employment.



Sabelo is 15 years and in grade 7 at the local primary school. He is obviously struggling. Hopefully he’ll be able to advance to high school next year. He seems quiet and certainly is withdrawn.

He plays soccer on a team and enjoys crafty work.

He also wishes to become an electrician.



Xolani is a cousin and is 18 years in grade 12 attending the local high school.

He is obviously bright, confident and speaks well. His marks have been good and he enjoys studying. He seems focussed and hopeful.

He plays on a soccer team and plays cricket for fun.

He wishes to be an accountant.



Wandile is 13 years and in grade 7 at the local primary school; moving to the local high school next year. He is doing well at school.

He is quiet and gentle and interested.

He plays soccer for a team and cricket as a hobby.

He also thinks he’d like to be an electrician; this seems to be a trend amongst the lads and I imagine because they are not aware of what else is available as a career choice.



Sibonelo is 8 years old and in grade 3 at the local primary school. He is doing alright.

He plays soccer for the under 13s and cricket for fun.

He hopes to be a shop owner one day and also a soldier.

We’ve had very limited contact with the youngsters in this family and so have less of a sense of them than some of the others. The younger ones come with Khethiwe to collect the food hampers; they are organised because they come with a wheel barrow!